Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 5, 2013

Homicide victim’s ID confirmed

TAHLEQUAH — Authorities on Tuesday officially confirmed the identity of a local professor found dead in her Tahlequah home last week.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said the victim, Dr. Tiffany Rene Maher, was found in her home on Kupsick by a Northeastern State University officer.

University President Dr. Steve Turner said the NSU Department of Public Safety responded to a call from the chemistry department Friday when Maher, an assistant professor of chemistry, had not arrived at an academic conference where she was scheduled to speak.

“Our officers responded to her home and the Tahlequah Police Department was subsequently contacted,” said Turner.

Details released about the homicide remain vague. The cause and manner of Maher’s death has not been officially determined.

New information also surfaced Tuesday with the release of a basic incident report filed by a Tahlequah police officer.

The report indicates officers smelled smoke inside Maher’s home when they arrived and discovered her death. Four cats were also found dead in the home.

One source has said the animals may have died as a result of a fire and the subsequent lack of oxygen in the home. The report filed Tuesday indicates arson is involved in the case.

Tahlequah Chief of Police Nate King said a certified fire investigation specialist with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping TPD and the OSBI investigate the fire in the home.

Police have not said whether any suspects have been pinpointed, but authorities in Tulsa discovered Maher’s missing car at an apartment complex near 81st Street and Highway 169 Monday evening. The man who reported the car to authorities said it had been parked there for about a week, according to media reports out of Tulsa.

“The Tulsa Police Department secured the vehicle until [Tahlequah] detectives arrived on scene,” King said. “The OSBI has been tasked with processing the vehicle for evidence. Detectives of the Tahlequah Police Department continue to follow up on leads in the case.”

The OSBI said analysts will try to lift fingerprints from Maher’s car in hopes of garnering new leads.

“[We] are grateful for the assistance provided by so many fellow law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens,” King said. “Anyone with information in regard to the murder of Tiffany Maher should contact the Tahlequah Police Department or the OSBI.”

A press release issued Tuesday by NSU described the campus community as “devastated and heartbroken” by the situation.

Maher “epitomized excellence in teaching and was respected and admired by her students and her colleagues on the Broken Arrow and Tahlequah campuses,” Turner said.

Maher joined NSU’s faculty in 2009. She was recently recognized by the NSU faculty with the university’s highest recognition, the Circle of Excellence Award for Teaching.

Dr. Martin Venneman, dean of the NSU College of Science and Health Professions, said the department was “stunned” to hear of Maher’s death.

“Not only has the college lost a Circle of Excellence in Teaching award-winner from its chemistry faculty, but it has lost a leader in the development of supplemental instruction across the lower division curricula as a way to enhance achievement of first-generation college students in rigorous general-education science and mathematics courses,” Venneman said. “Dr. Maher was known as a friend, an advocate, and a mentor by her students; revered by her peers as an exceptional educator; and respected throughout the College for her professional achievements.”

Friends and colleagues have said Maher was involved in the community and volunteered her time at student events while supporting local nonprofit groups for women. Maher’s neighbors have said she worked diligently to find new homes for stray cats.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Maher’s mother and father and her extended family,” said Turner. “While respecting the family’s privacy, NSU will continue to provide support to them, Dr. Maher’s students, and her colleagues as we face the unimaginable tragedy of losing such a gifted instructor and researcher at the age of 38.”

Plans are under way for a memorial service to be held late next week at the Tahlequah campus. University officials also indicated the Maher family will establish a scholarship program through the NSU Foundation.

Text Only
Local News
  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo


How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers